15 Easy Dinners for Hot Summer Days

By Kelley Boymer
15 Jun 2023

Summer solstice is coming and we’re so excited. Re-sharing this post with some updates to get ready for the season ahead.

Cooking in the summer can sometimes feel tedious. We all want to be outside soaking up the sun and the thought of roasting in a hot kitchen couldn’t be less appealing. In New England, summers are hot and humid and we find ourselves craving cool, crisp, light, and refreshing dinners. If you’re feeling uninspired and out of summer dinner ideas, you’re in luck. We’re sharing 15 quick and easy dinner recipes for those hot summer days, so you can spend minimal time in the kitchen and enjoy a delicious meal.

Looking for more dinner inspiration? Check out Crockpot Slow Cooker Recipes For Dinner and Easy Sheet Pan Dinners.

15 Easy Dinners for Hot Summer Days

Pesto Pizza

Pizza is lovely all year round, but Pesto Pizza in the summer is just right– especially topped with some garden-fresh roasted cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella. Love and Lemon’s is one of our favorites and this Pesto Pizza will not disappoint. Speed up the process by buying fresh pizza dough and pesto from your local market. You could even add some chicken breast or grilled shrimp for a little extra protein! Jess and Craig swear by their Ooni Pizza oven and the best thing is you can make pizza outside!

Favorite Veggie Burgers

These Veggie Burgers from Cookie and Kate look bomb.com. There is nothing like a veggie burger in the summer and don’t forget the fixings! These burgers do take a little bit of prep but a full of flavor and totally worth it. But you can do so ahead of time and have them ready to pop on the grill or stove in a jiffy. The burger recipe includes sweet potato, quinoa, black beans, onion, garlic, cilantro and more. Accompany your burger with fresh tomatoes, sprouts, avocado, pickles, sliced red onion, cheese and whatever else you please!

The Ultimate Mediterranean Bowl

The Ultimate Mediterranean Bowl from Minimalist Baker is mouthwateringly delicious with all the flavors and spices for your hot summer night. Featuring greens, veggies, olives, hummus, falafel and tahini sauce you can’t go wrong! For an even quicker and easier recipe make your falafels ahead of time. Included are both vegan and kale falafel recipes for your choosing.

Summer Ricotta with Grilled Vegetables

This Summer Ricotta with Grilled Vegetables recipe from Smitten Kitchen includes an easy homemade ricotta recipe accompanied by grilled vegetables and sourdough for serving. It would be perfect to whip up the ricotta ahead of time and then throw the veggies on the grill before serving. This could be used as an appetizer at a summer cocktail party or dinner for 2-4 people. We love summer salads and this one does not disappoint! Yum!

Quick Vegan Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Sauce

101 Cookbooks Recipe for Quick Vegan Enchiladas with Sweet Potato Sauce got rave reviews! With just 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven, featuring black beans, sweet potatoes and turmeric you will love this flavorful meal.

Big Kale Pasta Salad

This Big Kale Pasta Salad from Budget Bytes includes a creamy balsamic vinaigrette over penne pasta, kale, grape tomatoes, red onion, chickpeas, and parmesan. We all love a cool pasta salad during the summer and this flavorful combo is delicious! This makes great leftovers too for a beach or picnic lunch.

Sheet Pan Chicken Pita’s with Tzatziki

Yum, yum, yum. These Sheet Pan Chicken Pita’s with Tzatziki from Pinch of Yum look delish. Begin with marinated, flash-roasted chicken. And top with roasted bell peppers, cucumber, kalamata olives, feta, lemon and your choice of tzatziki. This is an easy meal that the whole family will enjoy. And if you feel like cooking outdoors you could easily whip this up on the grill.

Taco Salad

Taco Salad is one of my favs and a great alternative to tacos during the summer when we especially crave some fresh greens. This Taco Salad from Two Peas & Their Pod is super easy and yummy. Including all the goods- fresh lettuce, ground beef, cheese, tomatoes, avocado and some tortilla chips for that crispy crunch. Don’t skip the creamy cilantro lime dressing, it makes the salad!

Grilled Halibut Sandwiches with Jalapeño Slaw

So simple but so yummy! This Grilled Halibut Sandwich with Jalapeño Slaw from Sprouted Kitchen is an oldie but goodie. Fresh fish during the summer is the best and topped with a spicy slaw, avocado and bun of your choice is delish. Make this a weekly go to dinner or use for an easy dinner to host, either way it will be a hit!

Soba Salad with Miso & Ginger Aubergine

A simple salad with lots of flavor and fun you can pull this meal together in just under 20 minutes. The Soba Salad with Miso & Ginger Aubergine from Green Kitchen Stories includes Aubergine, soba noodles, broccoli and spinach. This meal is both healthy and delicious with it’s flavorful miso and ginger marinade.

Greek Chicken Kabobs

Kabobs are so fun and easy for the summer. They feel festive and take very little prep. They make a great family meal or are wonderful for hosting friends as well. These Greek Chicken Kabobs from Damn Delicious are juicy, tender and yummy. The marinade for the chicken is key and the addition of feta, grilled pita bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and tzatziki sauce complete the meal.

Jerk Shrimp Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, Slaw and Pina Colada Crema

The combination of shrimp in jerk marinade, Pina colada cream and grilled pineapple salsa make these tacos so perfect for a hot summer night. There is no lack of flavor here! These Shrimp Tacos from Closet Cooking are just what you need this summer!

Mexican Street Corn Salad with Black Beans

This vegan Mexican Street Corn recipe from Vegan Richa looks super delicious. There is nothing better than fresh corn during the summer and the combination of jalapeño, peppers, black beans, cilantro and lime topped with chipotle mayo just can’t be beat! Use it as an app and dip with chips or crackers or serve alongside a main dish like fish or tacos.

Best BLT Sandwich

Keep things simple and make a BLT with a yummy mayo and tomato basil bread from from Recipe Girl. Fresh summer tomatoes are the best, crisp lettuce and a crunchy delicious bacon make this staple a go to summer meal. You can whip this up in no time and it always tastes delicious!

One Pan Corn and Zucchini Pesto Orzo Casserole

We love a sheet pan meal and this one from Half Baked Harvest is perfect for a summer evening with corn, zucchini and basil right from your garden or local farmer’s market. The orzo, cheeses and herbs pull the veggies together for a delicious comforting meal on a cooler summer evening.

What recipes are you loving this summer? Let us know your favorite meals for hot summer days in the comments.

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